Straya Mate !

Rosie’s take on… Straya mate

When it comes to my country, I am extremely patriotic. I’ve been around the world (a couple’a times or maybe more…), but still every time I am relieved and happy to return home. If you asked someone in England what language people speak in Australia, they’d reply with ‘English’. My answer? ‘Australian’. It is undeniable that Aussie’s have their own unique way of speaking, unlike that of the American’s or British. How many other countries do you know that have their own recognised slang name for a fast food chain? And here we are, in Australia, with even the ad campaigns using the name Maccas. Thongs are footwear, not skimpy lingerie. We don’t go to the train station, we go to the traino. We don’t go to the bottle shop, it’s the bottle-o. She’s homosexual? She’s a lezo. Someone’s pregnant? She’s preggo. See a speed camera? Better flash ya lights to warn oncoming cars about the coppas ahead. Australia’s the place that you’ll call a complete stranger ‘mate’, but call your friend ‘cunt’. “Robbo ya shit cunt, ya missed the turning, chuck a u-ey”.

I was in Los Angeles last year, and befriended a fellow tourist family simply because they were Australian. It didn’t matter that they were from the complete other side of Australia; that familiar, comforting tone of their Aussie accents was enough to seal the deal. Australian’s unite no matter where we are, even in the 45 minute queue for the water rapids at California Adventure; because we are one, but we are many.

There are some pretty hilarious Australian stereotypes out there- mostly involving kangaroos, and the rest of the world’s assumptions that we use them as a means of transport. The best thing about the majority of these stereotypes? They’re pretty much right. I live in an actual real suburb, with a shopping centre just down the road and neighbours right outside my window, and on more than one occasion on my drive down my street, in the two short months since I’ve been living here, I’ve had to stop for kangaroos.

Give us a month or two and the typical Aussie weather’ll be back. We have our own Aussie Christmas carols to match our hot summers; including our own version of Jingle Bells. We also have the six white boomers, snow white boomers, racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun. Christmas in Aus is a unique experience, being in a hot car going to visit the rellies, going down to the beach, our home is girt by sea.

Thongs and uggies are the standard footwear of Aussies, usually paired with some boardies. Being Australian is having a cold bevvy outta the esky by the barbie with ya missus while ya kids are playing cricket out the front. Aussie blokes turning 18 and getting a Southern Cross tattoo on their chest. The popularity of utes. The actual word ‘ute’. Watching Blinky Bill and Round the Twist as a kid, and then moving onto Neighbours and Home and Away as you get older. The Wiggles. Steve Irwin. Export and VB. Cadbury. Vegemite. Cadbury Vegemite chocolate.

I love travelling and going new places. But I still call Australia home.

So, gimme a home among the gum trees…

(P.s. To my sisters Sarah and Melanie that are insisting they go to Canada for the next 8 months- I didn’t actually write this post with the intention of making you want to stay, but do with it what you will..)

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